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Yoga for Diabetes Mellitus

How is stress related to life style?

The wrong life style that aggravates the diabetic state includes excessive indulgence in

  1. Eating heavy spicy, oily foods and sweets;

  2. Cigarette smoking, Alcohol, non-vegetarian foods, fizzy cool drinks;

  3. Sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity;

  4. Excessive sleeping or loss of sleep;

  5. Emotional upsurges such as aggressive behavior, anger, fear, tension, worry etc. Stress is both the cause and the result of an erratic life style. Stress is a psychological state of emotional reactivity in which the person has no control over the mind in general. We can see that all these situations of life style mentioned above are due to lack of mastery over one's cravings or desires or emotional reactions. Thus stress is the cause and the result of all the life style related erratic behaviors.

Are there research data to show the effect of stress in the causation of DM?

Yoga and Diabetes control

We carried out a research study along with Dr Dandona, the chief of the diabetology department of the Royal free hospital, London. where 21 NIDDMS who were taking oral antidiabetic tablets and or dieting were divided into Yoga and Control groups. The yoga group practiced Integrated Approach of Yoga Therapy, 5 days/week (90min classes) for 12 weeks. This study concluded that "offering yoga classes to NIDDM patients at a diabetic clinic attracted significant number of patients and led to improved glucose homeostasis as seen by decreased fasting blood glucose adn glycated hemoglobin in yoga group as compared to control group. ( J. of complementary med. Research 1992, 6 (2): 66-68). Similar observations have been published by Dr. Sahay of Hyderabad (1986 J.A.P.I 34(9): 645-8). An interesting observation of Dr Jobson (1991) was that once a week sessions of progressive relaxation training and biofeedback did not contribute to better control of diabetes. Dr Rice's (1992) observation of improved blood flow to the legs is a valuable research and provides a source of hope for person's who have had long duration of diabetes.

Stage III : Forward Jogging

  • Lean backward a little and now as you increase the speed again, try to raise the knees higher and higher.

  • Raise the knees forwards to reach the chest level.

  • Repeat 20 times at your maximum speed.

  • Slow down the practice coming back to the stage of slow jogging again.

  • Continue slow jogging for a few rounds, count 10 times.

Stage IV : Side Jogging

  • Gradually increase the speed taking the heels side ways.

  • As the speed increases bring the heels as close to the elbows as possible.

  • Repeat this movement 20 times at your maximum speed.

  • Gradually slow down to come back to slow jogging stage.

  • Keep jogging a few more rounds (10) and finally stop the practice.


  • Increase the speed of jogging gradually and not too quickly.

  • Try not to stop at any stage of the practice until you have completed all the 4 stages of jogging.

  • Keep the fists on the chest throughout the practice.

This article has been written by Dr. R. Nagarathna, Dean, Division of Yoga & Life-sciences, SVYASA
This article is published online courtesy
and Arogyadhama

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